Spam, Spam, Spam.
Why on earth would a gluten free blog have a story about Spam? Well, it seems to me that a travel diary about Hawaii has to include the subject. Why?
Well, I knew I was going to have to write a blog about Spam while here in Hawaii when I went to Target and they had Spam flavored Macadamia nuts. Spam FLAVORED nuts.
Then I found a whole section in Target dedicated to Spam paraphernalia. We’re talking about oven mitts, cookbooks, magnets, mugs, t-shirts, etc.
It seemed that everywhere we turned on the Big Island- Spam was there. You can find it in all grocery and convenience stores, even restaurants and most homes in Hawaii.
Why is Spam so important here? I did a little research.
Spam was first introduced to the Hawaiians by Americans in WWII. It was a staple for the American soldiers and Hawaiians loved it. Spam is a portable, durable meat that doesn’t require refrigeration. Spam is made of pork shoulder, ham, sugar and salt.
Do I eat Spam? Absolutely not. I actually had Spam as a kid and never liked it. In fact, mention Spam and I tend to cringe. If you’re a fan of Spam, that is fine. But you will never catch this gluten-free girl eating it!
I do understand why Spam became so popular in Hawaii. Being a tropical climate, having a meat product that doesn’t need refrigeration and stored for emergencies is desirable in a product. Hawaiians eat alot of Spam, the average Hawaiian eats up to 12 cans of Spam per year, more than any other place in the world.
Hawaiians use it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is also popular in Asian cuisine. Hawaiian’s favorite dish with Spam is called ‘MUSUBI.’ Musubi is a fried slice of ham on rice pressed together to form a block, then wrapped with a strip of seaweed.
Spam is so popular that in Waikiki and Oahu they have a Spam Jam street festival. It celebrates the people of Hawaii that love of Spam.
So if you are in Hawaii and wonder why you see canned Spam everywhere, now you know why!